Tom Crawford, a 63-year-old retired flooring specialist, ran into serious difficulties with his mortgage. A series of errors meant he had not being paying off his mortgage as he thought, and still owed £43,000. After a legal battle, he was expecting bailiffs to descend and take possession of his home at any moment.
In desperation he published a plea on YouTube, explaining what had happened and asking for people to come and stand with him and his family to prevent the bailiffs taking possession of his home: some 200 strangers came to his help.
According to the BBC, Crawford and his wife had taken out a mortgage with Bradford and Bingley in 1988. They thought they had paid off their mortgage. However, when the deal came to an end last year they were informed that they still owed £43,000.
It turned out that they hadn't been paying the debt off, and had only been paying the interest. They believed this was an error on the bank's part, but in court a judge ruled against them and said they had to pay.
During the process Crawford was diagnosed with cancer, and said in his video that while he was on his sick bed, the bank's representatives had made their first efforts to take possession of the house.
The Daily Mail reported that 200 people came from as far afield as Glasgow, and the bailiffs turned back before they even reached the house
Crawford expressed his gratitude on his Facebook group. He said: "It's very difficult to write this as there doesn't seem to be any words in the English dictionary to express properly the debt and thanks my family and myself owe to you all, the warmth and generosity is simply remarkable in this day and age."
His daughter responded that the couple were now hopeful that the publicity would help the family secure another hearing, giving them the opportunity to prove that the bank had been at fault, and protecting them from eviction for the long term.